Glencoe School of Scottish Highland Dance
Mary Wilson Recknagel, Director
The Royal Scottish Country
Dance Society – Atlanta Branch
Scottish Country Dancing is the traditional ballroom dancing of Scotland.
Performed round the room or in longwise or square sets, one can see the intricate
patterns of the dance unfold as the dancers step in time to the elegance and
strength of the Strathspey or the fast tempo of Jigs and Reels displayed as
the couples progress through the dance.
Scottish country dances, unlike the folk dances of most other countries, do not seem to have been confined to only one grade of society. On the contrary, they were danced and enjoyed in the common by both laird and tenant or crofter. Thanks to the efforts of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, these national dances of Scotland have been preserved.
Today we dance many dances that were devised in the 18th century, and they are as popular now as they were then. New dances are constantly being devised, and this living art form adds the old Scottish spirit to many of our social gatherings.
The technique of the dance is consistently taught, whether the classes are in Scotland, Japan or the United States. When dancers meet from around the world, and this is not uncommon, they all dance to the same standard set by the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.
There are only five steps in the traditional dances. The skip change of step, the slip step and the pas de basque, are used in Reels and Jigs. The other two steps appear only in the Strathspey. The three tempos are Jig, Reel and Strathspey, the latter being slower, smoother and stronger than the first two, but more demanding in strength and balance.
To learn more about Scottish Country Dancing, please stop by the Country Dancing Platform, to see and/or participate in the dancing. Also, visit the RSCDS tent located adjacent to the platform for additional information on Scottish Country Dancing in the Atlanta area.